• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 2605

    Asian Contemporary Art (Day Sale)

    25 May 2008, Hong Kong

  • Lot 700

    CHIHIRO NAGASHIMA

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    CHIHIRO NAGASHIMA
    (BORN IN 1983)
    THE WARNING OF A PALE SHEEP & THE MIDDLE OF THE EVERLASTING
    SIGNED, TITLED AND DATED 'CHIHIRO NAGASHIMA; THE WARNING OF A PALE SHEEP; THE MIDDLE OF THE EVERLASTING; 2007' IN JAPANESE (ON REVERSE)
    TWO ACRYLIC ON PAPER MOUNTED ON WOOD PANEL
    91 X 195 CM. (35 3/4 X 76 3/4 IN.) & 45 X 194 CM. (17 3/4 X 76 1/4 IN.) PAINTED IN 2007 (2)


    Contact Client Service
    • info@christies.com

    • New York +1 212 636 2000

    • London +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    • Hong Kong +852 2760 1766

    • Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766

    THE BLAND AND VACANT BACKDROP OF NAGASHIMA'S WORKS SERVE AS A BLANK SLATE FOR THE AUDIENCE'S MIND, READY TO ACCEPT AND ANALYZE THE INNER AND SURREAL IMAGINATION OF THE ARTIST. HER CANVAS IS AN OPEN INVITATION TO THE ARTIST'S INNER EMOTIONS AS EACH MOTIF IS A MANIFESTATION OF AN EMOTION, A THOUGHT AND AN EXPERIENCE. CONTRARY TO EXISTING NOTIONS OF COMPOSITIONAL BALANCE, NAGASHIMA DRAWS A TRAIN OF DETAILED COMPACT FIGURES THAT MOVE ALONG A CURRENT IN ARBITRARY STREAMS, LIKE HER STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS. UPON THE SLIGHTEST EMOTIONAL OR PHYSICAL RESPONSE TO ANY EXTERNAL SENSATORY STIMULATION, NAGASHIMA BLENDS THIS IMAGERY WITH HER MIND, SPILLING ITS MATERIALIZATION ONTO PAPER BEFORE IT DISINTEGRATES INTO YET ANOTHER MUNDANE EVERYDAY SCENE.

    THROUGH RIVER OF GOLD & RIVER OF SILVER (LOT 731), NAGASHIMA EXPRESSES HER FASCINATION WITH THE INFINITE WONDERS AND BOOKS OF THE WORLD, HOW SHE CANNOT POSSIBLY KNOW WHERE TO FIND THE ANSWERS TO HER CURIOSITIES. THIS PERPLEXITY IS EXPRESSED IN THE AMALGAMATION OF RANDOM OBJECTS AND DROWNING FIGURES IN HER STREAM WHERE NEITHER THE BEGINNING NOR END IS KNOWN. THE HALF NAKED FORMS SIMILARLY STRUGGLE TO ABSORB THE INFORMATION AS THE RIVER MELTS OVER THEIR GRIM FACES. IN THE WARNING OF A PALE SHEEP (LOT 700) THE MASS OF PEOPLE RUN IN IDENTICAL FORM, THEY BLINDLY FOLLOW THE MILITANT ORDERS OF THE DICTATING BLUE SHEEP, UNABLE AND SCARED TO RESIST THE PREACHER. THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE (LOT 700) YET AGAIN DEPICTS THE THEOLOGICAL CONCEPT NAGASHIMA PONDERS OVER A MONOTONOUS, ARDUOUS DAY AT WORK. THE SMALL TANGLED FIGURES LINK TO ONE ANOTHER WITH THEIR LONG LIMBS, LIKE THE LAYER UPON LAYER OF PAPER THE ARTIST COMPILED FOR AN APPARENT ETERNITY. DROWNING IN THE SHEET OF PAPER NAGASHIMA FELT A SENSE OF STABILITY IN THE CENTER OF PAPERS WHERE SHE PHYSICALLY PLACED A SQUIRT OF GLUE. SIMILARLY, THE TALL BLONDE FEMALE FIGURE RISES LIKE A BEACON FOR THE LOST STRUGGLING FIGURES FIND THEIR CENTER OF GRAVITY.

    THE OBSCURELY POSED, NAKED FORMS OF THE FIGURES ARE OFTEN INTERCHANGEABLE WITH ANIMALS, PAPER OR ANYTHING THE MIND CAN IMAGINE. CAREFULLY AND TENDERLY, NAGASHIMA OUTLINES HER FIGURES WITH A FINE BLACK LINE AND FILLS EACH FIGURE WITH IDENTICAL CREAMY SKIN AND BLACK HAIR. THE SMOOTHNESS OF HER BRUSHSTROKES NOT ONLY EMPHASIZES THE DELICATENESS OF HER FIGURES BUT ALSO CAN BE ASSOCIATED TO THE LIKEWISE EXQUISITE PAINTINGS OF UKIYO-E. THE UNBEARABLY FLAT SURFACE OF HER CANVAS IS FAIRLY EERIE YET WHIMSICAL THUS VALIDATING THE DREAMLIKE IMAGINATION OF NAGASHIMA. WITH THESE OBJECTS SET AGAINST THE BLANK BACKGROUND, WE AS VIEWERS ARE ASKED TO THINK BEYOND OUR COMFORT ZONE, TO TAKE NOTICE OF THE COMPLEX ABSTRACTIONS WE CAN FIND IN OUR EVERYDAY LIFE. IN THE SPACE OF A SMALL CANVAS, NAGASHIMA OPENS UP A NEW OUTLOOK TOWARDS THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT TODAY.

    Saleroom Notice

    PLEASE NOTE THAT THE MEDIUM OF LOT 700 SHOULD BE ACRYLIC ON PAPER MOUNTED ON WOOD PANEL.


    Exhibited

    TOKYO, JAPAN, TOKYO METROPOLITAN GOVERNMENT OFFICE BUILDING, OKYO WONDERWALL 2007 - CHIHIRO NAGASHIMA - SOLO EXHIBITION, DECEMBER 3 - 25, 2007.